Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

‘Turn on the lights’: Cubans protest post-Hurricane Ian blackouts

‘Turn on the lights’: Cubans protest post-Hurricane Ian blackouts

Power outages have reportedly led Havana to make rare request to US for emergency assistance.

Protests have broken out in Cuba for the second night in a row over power outages in the wake of Hurricane Ian, with the continuing shortages reportedly prompting Havana to make a rare appeal to the United States for emergency assistance.

The unrest on the streets of Havana on Thursday and Friday night represented some of the largest demonstrations in the country since thousands of Cubans took to the streets in virtually unprecedented anti-government protests in July 2021.

In one neighbourhood, Playa in the city’s west, several hundred people gathered, chanting “turn on the lights” as well as anti-government slogans against President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

The neighbourhood, like several others across the Caribbean Island nation, has been without electricity since Hurricane Ian slammed into the island on Tuesday, temporarily knocking out Cuba’s entire power grid.

Officials said on Friday that power had been restored to about 60 per cent of Havana’s two million people.

At least two people were killed in Cuba when the storm hit. Another 20 people attempting to migrate by boat from Cuba to the US were also still missing after their vessel sank during the storm, which killed at least 23 people in Florida before making its second US landfall in South Carolina on Friday.

People shout slogans in a protest during a blackout in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Havana, Cuba

Meanwhile, anxiety has grown in areas in Cuba still in the dark, with social media showing several smaller protests in Havana neighbourhoods beyond Playa on Friday.

“It’s like being in hell,” protester Carlos Felipe Garcia, who marched shirtless and covered in sweat, told Reuters news agency.

“That’s why we’re out on the street, and we’ll keep coming out.”

Protesters in Playa were at one point met with several truckloads of security forces, who blocked them from marching down a main boulevard, according to Reuters, although no clashes were reported.

Hurricane Ian knocked out power to Cuba’s 11 million residents

Internet watchdogs have also accused authorities of blocking internet communications in an attempt to stem the unrest.

Officials have said they hoped to restore power to all of Havana by the end of the weekend, although the outlook for large swaths of the country still in the dark outside of the capital remained unclear.

The situation has reportedly prompted Cuba’s government to make a rare request for emergency assistance from US President Joe Biden’s administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

It was not immediately clear if the US would offer the sought aid, although the newspaper reported, citing a review of email communications, that Washington had assessed that Cuban authorities would place priorities on hospitals, water pumping facilities, sanitation and other critical infrastructure if the Biden administration were to provide assistance.

Cuba remains subject to a US trade embargo dating back to the Fidel Castro-led Cuban Revolution and the subsequent rise of the current communist government on the island.

Upon taking office, Biden had promised to re-engage with Havana, but pivoted following Cuba’s crackdown on protesters during the July 2021 unrest, with Washington instead imposing sanctions on Cuban officials.

Havana said the rare protests – in which residents decried food, fuel and medicine shortages – were the result of US meddling.


Related Articles

Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Drew Barrymore
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
Kamala Harris: "The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity."
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.
The desk of King Carlos Alberto of Sardinia has many secret compartments
Today's news from Britain - 9th February 2023
China has declined the US's request for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to speak with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe after the US Air Force shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, according to the Pentagon
The five largest oil companies in the West generated combined profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022, which has led to increased calls for governments to impose tougher windfall taxes
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people